The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Plummer Family Sports Park set to open in March !

  •  Photo: Charles Bolinger|The Intelligencer

EDWARDSVILLE, IL.Plummer Family Sports Park will be ready for play next month.

After a year of construction, the grand opening of the nearly $13 million sports park is set at 4 p.m. Friday, March 27 and was announced at the end of Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The park was originally due to open in December but inclement weather pushed the date back to this spring.

Located at 7757 Goshen Road, between Ridge View Road and Interstate 55 on the city’s eastern edge, the 83-acre park’s first phase has six soccer/lacrosse/flag football fields, 12 pickleball courts and four junior (age 12 and under) baseball/softball diamonds. All of the diamonds and three of the fields feature synthetic turf. The other three fields will be seeded grass and will not be ready for play until this fall at the earliest; those fields will not have lights.

Other park features include centralized concession stands/restrooms for the ball diamonds, a pavilion with more concessions and restrooms for those using the fields and plenty of parking. As of last fall, city park staff said the park fields had been reserved for most of the 2020 season and groups had even inquired about 2021 but the city has been focused on this year.

Alderman Art Risavy asked about advertising opportunities at the park, particularly for Edwardsville’s restaurants and shops, to help prevent visitors from driving to Troy or other areas to dine and shop. Alderman Craig Louer asked about partnering with Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau on an advertising and tourism campaign.

Tingley said a park component will inform visitors of nearby places to eat and visit. Mayor Hal Patton mentioned possibly using space on park scoreboards for discount-rate ads featuring local small businesses.

Future park features include four additional junior baseball/softball diamonds, four adult baseball/softball diamonds in the rear of the park, a fieldhouse, a second Goshen entrance and exit plus more parking. There will also be a 3.5-acre area designated as community park space. When or if the second phase is constructed depends on usage and demand for the first phase.

City officials also plan to extend Sports Park Drive north until it meets Route 143 near Blackburn Road. That extension would become the park’s main entrance and the backbone of what it hopes will be developments that cater to park visitors and their families — restaurants, hotels, gas stations, etc. One of the park’s goals is to attract leagues and championships so that teams are in town for consecutive days.

Patton said Devin Gray, the city’s information technology director, has been working on getting security cameras for the park and determining where additional fencing is needed.

“We really want to see this facility functional and used for the benefit of the entire community,” Patton said.

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